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Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos


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Pectoral Sandpiper, adult in breeding plumage
credit: Andreas Trepte/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Scolopacidae, Sandpipers view all from this family

Description ADULT SUMMER Has brown upperparts overall, back feathers with dark centers and buff margins. Crown is rufous and contrasts with white supercilium. ADULT winter Similar, but markings are less intense and less colorful. JUVENILE Similar to summer adult, but with brighter upperparts, feathers of back having buff, rufous or white margins (latter align on mantle and scapular feathers).

Dimensions Length: 9" (23 cm)

Habitat Common Arctic breeder. Fairly common on migration through Midwest, usually beside freshwater or on grassy mudflats; also seen on East Coast.

Observation Tips Easy to find on high Arctic breeding grounds. Otherwise, look for fall migrants beside inland pools or on coasts.

Range California, Southwest, Eastern Canada, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Western Canada, Alaska, Great Lakes, New England, Plains, Rocky Mountains, Northwest, Texas, Southeast

Voice A trilling krrrk call and hooting song.

Discussion Well-marked shorebird. At all times has yellowish legs, gently downcurved, mainly dark bill with a dull orange base, and strongly streaked throat and breast, showing clear pectoral demarcation from otherwise white underparts. Male is larger than female with darker throat and breast markings.